The Saudi Arabian government has donated about 40 tonnes of dates to distribute as an Iftar item among marginalised people during the upcoming Ramadan.
On behalf of the Saudi Arabian ambassador to Bangladesh, Ahmed bin Hassan Hamadi, head of Islamic Affairs, handed over the dates to the Disaster Management and Relief Secretary Mohammad Mohsin at the conference room of the ministry on Thursday, read a press release issued by the ministry.
Other officials of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief were also present.
During the handover ceremony, Secretary Mohammad Mohsin said, "We have decided to send the dates to the district administrations to reach out to people who cannot afford to buy dates during Iftar. We want the marginalised people of the country to break their fast with these dates from the first day of Ramadan.
He strongly urged the district administrators to distribute these dates among those who are unable to buy them.
"No part of the dates belongs to the ministry or the departments. These 40 tonnes of dates will be distributed among the marginalised people of the country. For this, I would like to thank the Saudi government on behalf of the Bangladesh government," he added.
The secretary said the Saudi government has provided 2,000 cartons of dates to Bangladesh as a token of friendship to distribute as an Iftar item among the marginalised people of the country during the upcoming Ramadan.
"Saudi Arabia is one of our most fraternal countries. Besides, our relationship with them as Muslims is different. In that country, a large number of our people go for Hajj and Umrah."
Hamadi said, "You all know that Bangladesh's relations with Saudi Arabia are very fraternal. The Saudi government is committed to moving this relationship forward. A few small dates as an expression of that.
"Today, on behalf of the ambassador, I, Ahmed bin Hassan Hamadi, officially handed over these dates as the responsible head of Islamic Affairs. I am happy to be here and I feel blessed."